The Dartmouth Observer

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Tuesday, July 27, 2004
 
Those Crazy Candidates

G.W. Bush had a great retort to Kerry's claim that he has "conservative values" (as Reason notes, "though, to be fair, Bush started it by stealing compassion from the Democrats"), which is actually kind of amusing:

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE PRESIDENT: I'm looking forward to the race. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to taking our positive and hopeful message all across the country. And it's going to be a tough race.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: My opponent is -- is an experience United States Senator. He's been in Washington a lot longer than I have.
AUDIENCE: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: No, he's been there long enough to take both sides of just about every issue. (Applause.) He voted for the Patriot Act, for NAFTA, for the No Child Left Behind Act, and for the use of force in Iraq. Now, he opposes the Patriot Act, NAFTA, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the liberation of Iraq.
AUDIENCE: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: If you disagree with the Senator on most any issue, you may just have caught him on the wrong day. (Applause.) Recently, in the Midwest, he even tried to claim he was the candidate with conservative values.
AUDIENCE: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: I know, I know. (Laughter.) That's what he said. (Laughter.) It's kind of hard to square that with his previous statement when he said, I'm liberal and proud of it. (Laughter.) Now he has a running mate. Senator Kerry is rated as the most liberal member of the United States Senate, and he chose a fellow lawyer who is the fourth most liberal member of the United States Senate.
AUDIENCE: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: In Massachusetts, that's what they call, balancing the ticket. (Laughter and applause.)
The most amusing comment of the evening was, however, "My opponents look at all this progress and somehow conclude that the sky is falling. (Laughter.) But whether their message is delivered with a frown or a smile, it's the same old pessimism. And to cheer us up, they propose higher taxes --

AUDIENCE: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: -- more federal spending --
AUDIENCE: Booo!
THE PRESIDENT: -- and economic isolationism." Because the sitting president did "oh so much" to shrink the size of the federal government and didn't engage in trade wars at all. It's what they call balancing the ticket in Texas.
None of this should be interpeted as an endorsement, really, of either "side." Politics is, if one stops to think about it, simply an exercise in farce, merely;a choice between going over the cliff at 65 mph vs. 45 mph with a side debate over whether the engine of destruction will be environmentally friendly. Pundit Sheldmon Richman is a bit too optimistic when describing Election 2004 as "An Echo, Not a Choice" by presuming there was something there in the first place. I would much rather have some of my friends running the White House than either of the men churned up the national Republican and Democratic parties. For starters, here's a good primer concerning Bush, nicely titled: "Ten Reasons to Fire George Bush, and Nine Reasons Kerry won't be better". Unfortunately it was written by those silly libertarians whose ideology blinds them from deficit of justice in American society, but what can you expect from ideologues who believe that a strictly unregulated market society is best thing since revealed religion?